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Coronavirus outbreak: Americans hope for evacuation from Wuhan as death toll rises – CBS News


6:46 AM

U.K. “urgently exploring” Wuhan evacuation options

The British Foreign Office confirmed Tuesday that the U.K. was joining a fast-growing list of nations “urgently exploring options” to evacuate citizens from the city at the center of the new coronavirus outbreak. According to the CBS News partner network BBC, there are believed to be about 300 British nationals in Wuhan.


Updated 23m ago

American anxious as wife and daughters stuck in Wuhan

Sam Roth is feeling safe and healthy at home in Wisconsin, but his wife and two young children are stuck in Wuhan. The American is doing everything he can to help get them onto the U.S. government-chartered flight out of the city on Wednesday morning.

Roth’s wife Daisy and their two daughters left to visit her family in China last week.

“From the moment they stepped foot in Wuhan they were told to stay inside, don’t get in big gatherings, then the city went on lock-down,” Roth told CBS News.

“We have a 10-month-old and a five-year-old. They are susceptible. They should be prioritized,” Roth said. “I’m hoping to get my family on that flight so they can come back to Wisconsin, where I’m not feeling any anxiety about catching the coronavirus.”

The CDC is telling all Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to China, where the death toll from the coronavirus is rising.@RamyInocencio reports from Beijing: pic.twitter.com/mrHx0pjBnf

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 28, 2020

U.S. health officials say the virus is not spreading widely in America and that danger to the public remains low, but as of Tuesday, there were five confirmed cases and more than 100 people being tested across 26 states. 


Updated 6:00 AM

Border rush as Hong Kong to cut transport with mainland China

CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio says there have been chaotic scenes at Hong Kong’s border crossing points with mainland China as Chinese citizens try to escape the rapid spread of the deadly new coronavirus and make it into the semi-autonomous territory.

Hong Kong’s regional government — the leaders of which are appointed by Beijing — said Tuesday that all rail and ferry links with mainland China would be halted from Thursday. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said flights would also be reduced. 

She stopped short of a total closing of the border but said that flights from the mainland would also be reduced.

The looming deadline appeared to drive many from mainland China to make a break for Hong Kong, leading to angry mobs at crossing points.

(5/5) Another social media video of the massive jam at immgration from mainland China to #HongKong because of #WuhanCoronavirus. Chief Executive Carrie Lam also cancelled the govt plan to use a residential estate as a quarantine camp – after it was firebombed by angry citizens. pic.twitter.com/xulB3n2KUz

— Ramy Inocencio 英若明 (@RamyInocencio) January 28, 2020


5:05 AM

Russia regions close borders with China

Three regions in southeast Russia have closed their borders with China amid increasing anxiety over the rapid spread of the deadly new coronavirus.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency quoted the governor of Khabarovsk as saying his region, along with the Jewish Autonomous Oblast and Amur regions, had already closed their borders.

The three regions span most of Russia’s shared border with northern China.

Map of Russia - states, cities, flag, navigation icons



Updated 4:39 AM

Japan confirms man who never visited Wuhan has virus

Japanese authorities confirmed two new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, including a man who has never been to Wuhan in central China, where the disease originated. He is a bus driver in his 60s who transported tourists from Wuhan on two occasions earlier this month. The man presented with symptoms and saw a doctor, but was not correctly diagnosed until January 28.

The other new patient is a man in his 40s who was recently in Wuhan. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Japan to six.

Japan’s government was to send its first charter flight to Wuhan on Tuesday night to evacuate 200 nationals. Medical personnel were to be on the flight to administer health checks for all passengers, who would also be asked to monitor their health for two weeks after returning.

There are about 650 Japanese nationals who want to return home from the Wuhan region, so additional flights were being planned.


Updated 2:39 AM

North Korea taking “emergency steps” to try to keep coronavirus out

North Korea said it’s taking “emergency steps” to prevent the spread of a new virus from neighboring China. The North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Tuesday the country is strengthening quarantine measures at airports, ports and border areas and conducting a medical surveillance of those who return from overseas trips.

The paper also said North Korea’s health authorities have “urgently” produced related hygiene documents and distributed them to medial facilities.

North Korea hasn’t officially reported any cases of the new coronavirus.

Tour operators in Beijing said last week North Korea had banned foreign tourists as a precaution against the virus. — The Associated Press 


Updated 9:26 PM

Germany confirms first case of novel coronavirus

The health department of Bavaria announced Germany’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus Monday. The department said the patient is in the town of Starnberg, about 19 miles south of Munich, and is isolated and in “good condition.”

The department did not disclose any information about the patient’s age or nationality. 



Updated 9:21 PM

Death toll rises to 106 with more than 4,500 confirmed cases in China

The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 106, Chinese officials said. There have been 1,291 more confirmed cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in China to more than 4,500, officials added. 


Updated 8:40 PM

State Department has “extremely limited” capacity to evacuate Americans from Wuhan

The State Department is airlifting some Americans out of Wuhan on Wednesday — but the department said there’s “extremely limited” capacity. 

About 1,000 Americans are reportedly in the city, including a man named Sam Roth and his family. The department said “priority will be given to individuals at greater risk from coronavirus.” 

“I’m trying to make the case that we have a 10-month-old and a 5-year-old,” he told CBS News. “They are susceptible.”   

Americans urged not to travel to China over coronavirus concerns


Updated 8:40 PM

U.S. issues stronger warning about travel

The U.S. State Department raised the level of its travel advisory on Monday, urging Americans to reconsider travel anywhere in China. And it issued a stronger level 4 warning for the specific province where Wuhan is located, stating: “Do not travel to Hubei province, China” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people to seek medical care right away if they had traveled to Wuhan in the past two weeks and develop a fever, cough or trouble breathing. It says older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be most at risk for severe illness from the virus.


Updated 8:40 PM

State Department orders Wuhan consulate personnel out of China

The State Department has ordered U.S. Consulate General Wuhan personnel to depart for the United States, a department spokesperson told CBS News. The department said it has procured a chartered flight for U.S. government personnel. 

The department added that as space is available, seating will be offered to U.S. citizens on a plane traveling from Wuhan to Ontario, California, on Wednesday morning. Priority will be given to those most likely to develop the coronavirus if they remain in Wuhan.


Updated 8:40 PM

Some cruise lines suspend service in China

International cruise operators aresuspending service in Chinaover mounting concerns about the deadly coronavirus. Costa Crociere, Genting Cruise Lines, MSC and Royal Caribbean have all halted operations in the country on advice of the Chinese government and in an effort to contain the virus. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises said it is canceling its January 27 and January 31 sailings of “Spectrum of the Seas” — its only ship with a home port in China. The company said it would provide full refunds to guests with reservations on both sails. 

“The health and safety of our guests and crew is our primary concern, and we continue to work with the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and government health authorities to monitor the situation,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.


Updated 8:40 PM

Canada confirms first coronavirus case

Canadian health authorities on Monday confirmed the country’s first case of a deadly coronavirus that originated in China, and said the patient’s wife had also tested positive. The woman’s case is still listed as “presumptive,” pending final confirmation by a national lab in Winnipeg, officials said.

Nearly 20 people are being monitored.

The patient confirmed to have the virus — a man in his 50s who arrived in Toronto on January 22 from Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic — is being treated in isolation in a hospital there. His wife, who traveled with him, also is believed to have contracted the virus and is in self-isolation, David Williams, Ontario province’s chief medical officer, said in a statement.



Updated 8:40 PM

WHO corrects China virus global risk level

The World Health Organization, which has sometimes been criticized for its handling of past disease outbreaks, admitted an error on Monday in its risk assessment of China’s deadly virus. The Geneva-based UN agency said in a situation report late Sunday that the risk was “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level.”

In a footnote, the WHO explained that it had stated “incorrectly” in its previous reports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that the global risk was “moderate.” The correction of the global risk assessment does not mean that an international health emergency has been declared.



Updated 8:40 PM

CDC says no new cases of coronavirus since last update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday that were still five known cases of coronavirus in the United States and that there had been no new cases reported.

The CDC said it was investigating 110 people for possible cases across 26 states — 32 had tested negative and results were still pending for 73 people.


Updated 8:40 PM

China’s capital reports first case of new coronavirus

Beijing authorities on Monday reported the Chinese capital’s first death from a new deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the country, killing more than 80 people and causing global alarm. The victim was a 50-year-old man who had visited the central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, on January 8 and developed a fever after returning to Beijing seven days later, the city’s health commission said.

He went to a hospital on January 21 and died on Monday of respiratory failure, the commission said.

A total of 80 of more than 2,700 cases have been recorded in the Chinese capital of 20 million people. 



Updated 8:40 PM

Trump says U.S. “strongly on watch” for virus

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday that U.S. health officials were “in very close communication” with Chinese counterparts as the world tries to stem the spread of a deadly virus that first emerged in central China.

Mr. Trump said the U.S. had offered China “any help that is necessary.”

We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus. Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020


Updated 8:40 PM

As virus spreads, stock prices take a hit

Stocks sank early Monday as the impact of the coronavirusweighed on investors’ minds. The Dow tumbled 430 points, or 1.6%, to 28,563 shortly after markets opened, while the the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq sank 1.3% and 1.7%, respectively. 

With the sharp rise in the number of infected people, China is taking steps to limit travel among its citizens, including a suspension of all tour groups and on the sale of tour group packages for overseas travel, The New York Times reports. That suspension, which begins Monday, could cast a pall on tourism and consumer spending across the globe. 

“Consumption and travel will be the most affected, and to a lesser degree investment and industrial production,” wrote Tommy Wu, senior economist at Oxford Economics, in a Sunday research note. “Travel and tourism across the region would be adversely affected as well. With a high share of tourism in GDP and strong reliance on Chinese tourists, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Philippines seem most at risk.”  


Updated 8:40 PM

U.K. expert says up to 100,000 could be infected already

Professor Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at London’s Imperial College, has said there could be 100,000 people already infected with the deadly new strain of coronavirus focused in central China’s Hubei province. Thus far only about 2,700 cases of the disease have been confirmed, with 81 proving fatal in China.

“The upper bound of the cumulative number of infected people as of yesterday is up to 100,000,” Ferguson’s office told CBS News on Monday. Ferguson has worked with U.S. infectious disease experts and helped found Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, which was expected to release more detailed modelling on the spread of the virus within a few days.

“A lot more information will become available in the next few days and weeks, and case numbers will continue to increase rapidly,” Ferguson told CBS News, adding that the fast-multiplying figures “do not necessarily represent a huge growth rate of the epidemic; it is much more likely down to the health authorities catching up” with efforts to accurately diagnosis a brand new illness.

— Tucker Reals and Maddie Richards


Updated 8:40 PM

Hong Kong confirms 2 more cases

Hong Kong has confirmed two more cases of a new virus that started in central China, raising its total to eight. Health department official Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan said Monday that all the cases are connected to Hubei province, where the outbreak started in December. She said there is no sign yet of it spreading to Hong Kong’s general population.

— Associated Press


Updated 8:40 PM

American in Wuhan says panic is rising as U.S. plots evacuation

An American citizen stuck in Wuhan says panic is rising in the quarantined city of 11 million as the U.S. government works to get about 1,000 Americans reportedly stuck in the locked down metropolis out.

“I just wish I could get my family off,” Justin Steece told CBS News on Monday.  “We need to go to America.” 

He and his wife Ling have lived in Wuhan for about a year and a half. Just three weeks ago she gave birth to their baby boy, Colm.

“Ling can’t move because she had a c-section, so she can only do so much at the moment while she recovers fully,” he said. “I have to go out; I have to get food, I have to do stuff like that, and my biggest fear is that I would go out, get sick not knowing it, and then come home and spread it to Ling and the baby.”

U.S. embassy evacuates American citizens from Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak

His wife doesn’t yet have a U.S. visa, and Steece can’t leave Wuhan to finish her paperwork under the lockdown. “Otherwise I would have evacuated with the rest of the people and gotten my wife and kid outta here,” he told CBS News.

As the Chinese government races to try and contain the deadly virus, Steece said the efforts aren’t really making anyone feel any better. “What you see, what the Chinese government is saying; ‘oh it’s calm, resolute,’ the citizens are actually freaking out a little bit more than that,” he said.

The State Department has chartered a flight to evacuate Americans from Wuhan on Tuesday, but Steece and his family won’t be on it. It will carry U.S. consulate staff from Wuhan and some other U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said passengers on that flight to San Francisco should “anticipate” being screened when they land.


Updated 8:40 PM

5 cases of illness in U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that five cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in the United States — all in people who had recently traveled to Wuhan, China. The most recent cases were reported in California and Arizona. Earlier cases had been confirmed in a man in his 30s in Seattle and a woman in her 60s in Chicago. No deaths were reported.

“It is likely there will be more cases reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks, likely including person-to-person spread,” the CDC said in a statement.

“Right now, CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, China. In addition, CDC recommends people traveling to other parts of China practice certain health precautions like avoiding contact with people who are sick and practicing good hand hygiene.  For the general public, no additional precautions are recommended at this time beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take.”


Updated 8:40 PM

Death toll in China rises to 56

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in China has climbed to 56, state media reported on Saturday. Hubei Province also reported 323 new cases on Saturday.

#CoronaOutbreak in China:
– 1,985 confirmed cases, including 10 in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
– 56 deaths
– 49 cured
– 2,684 suspected cases pic.twitter.com/IEwqe4WJlh

— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) January 26, 2020


Updated 6:09 PM / January 25, 2020

“Presumptive positive” case of coronavirus found in Canada

The first “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus has been detected in Canada, Ontario’s chief medical officer announced Saturday. A man in his 50s, who traveled to Wuhan, China, became “quite ill” within a day of his return. The Ontario Ministry of Health says they are “95% sure” the man contracted coronavirus, but are waiting for further confirmation of their test results.

The patient is currently being treated at Sunnybrook Hospital in Ontario and is in stable condition, according to the ministry.


Updated 8:40 PM

France looking to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan amid lockdown

French and Chinese officials are looking at “eventual options that would allow our nationals who wish to leave” the city of Wuhan, France’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday. The Chinese city is now on lockdown to contain the virus, making evacuation of foreign nationals difficult. 

The French consulate would not say how many French citizens are currently in Wuhan, but said it is in constant contact with them. 

France reported the first three European coronavirus patients on Friday. 

Dr. Yazdan Yazdanpaneh, a leading French expert who heads Paris’ Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital’s infectious diseases unit, told The Associated Press that two of the patients are a couple from Wuhan, who developed symptoms after arriving in France. 
The third patient is being treated at a hospital in Bordeaux. All three are doing “very well,” according to the head of France’s health department, Jerome Salomon.

Beginning Sunday, medical teams will be stationed at France’s airports to help passengers arriving from China with any questions, concerns, or medical needs.

 — The Associated Press 


Updated 12:45 PM / January 25, 2020

People in Chicago’s Chinatown cancel Chinese New Year plans

CBS Chicago reports that people canceled their Chinese New Year plans and were taking extra precautions – the Walgreens in the city’s Chinatown was completely out of face masks by 10 a.m. Friday. 

A case of the virus was confirmed this week in Chicago, one of only two so far in the United States.

Local business owner Huan Wang said that with the confirmed case, many were changing their plans.

“My friend who has a restaurant down the street, he was planning on having 40 people come in today, but actually they called him to say the table will be canceled. Because some people got sick or some people are afraid of going out,” he said.

He said they were taking special precautions, too, more than doubling their cleaning and sanitizing regimen in the restaurant.

While he believes there’s no reason to be afraid, he understand the concerns about a virus we still don’t know a lot about.

“I do understand that people might be a little afraid of going out,” Wang said. “They don’t know where they should go, what they should worry about.”


Updated 8:41 PM

China’s president calls situation grave

China’s President Xi Jinping called the accelerating spread of the virus a grave situation. He made the remarks, reported by state broadcaster CCTV, at a meeting of Communist Party leaders that convened on the Lunar New Year holiday and underlined the government’s urgent and ever-expanding efforts to bring the situation under control.

Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours, the state-owned China Daily reported, citing the China Association of Travel Services.

— The Associated Press


Updated 8:52 AM / January 25, 2020

Lunar New Year festivities canceled across mainland China

Lunar New Year festivities were canceled across mainland China on Saturday and scaled back in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong as authorities sought to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

Major tourist sites and movie theaters were shuttered in China. Beijing canceled all temple fairs, a popular tradition in northern China with performances, games for children and booths selling snacks and New Year’s-themed souvenirs.

The Forbidden City in Beijing, Shanghai Disneyland and a major safari park are among the tourist destinations that have closed indefinitely.

A fireworks show and four-day carnival were canceled in Hong Kong.

–The Associated Press 


Updated 12:13 AM / January 25, 2020

Australia announces first confirmed case of novel coronavirus

Australian officials have announced the country’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. The case occurred in the state of Victoria, and the patient has been hospitalized in a stable condition in a Melbourne suburb. 

The patient was identified as a Chinese national in his 50s. He flew to Australia from Guangzhou, China, on January 19, according to Victoria Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.

“It is important to stress that there is no cause for alarm to the community,” Mikakos said. “The patient is isolated and is undergoing treatment and we do not have any further suspected cases at this stage.”



Updated 8:41 PM

35 million people on lockdown in China

In response to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, officials took the extraordinary step of restricting travel in 11 cities. That means 35 million people — almost the population of Canada — are on lockdown.

— Ramy Inocencio contributed reporting.


Updated 8:41 PM

China scrambles to build new hospital as supplies dwindle

Chinese officials scramble to build hospital as virus spreads

An army of excavators is in a frantic race to build a hospital in the next 10 days that can house 1,000 patients sickened with the virus. But as patients continue to pack existing hospitals, medical supplies are running low. 

— Ramy Inocencio contributed reporting.


Updated 8:41 PM

France confirms third novel coronavirus case

France on Friday announced three confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, the first outside Asia and the United States.
Authorities said all three sickened people had traveled to China, and two of them belonged to the same family. They were the first cases registered in Europe.
Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said she expects more cases and that the virus must be battled like a wildfire. She said the likely reason that France has the first European cases is that it quickly developed a test allowing medics to rapidly diagnose the sickened.

— The Associated Press


4:43 PM / January 24, 2020

Americans “shouldn’t be frightened or afraid,” official says

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday that coronavirus posed little risk to Americans but health officials were taking it seriously. “The American public needs to understand the difference: They shouldn’t be frightened or afraid, but don’t think that we’re not taking this very seriously,” he said.

Fauci urged Americans wash their hands frequently, which they should be doing anyway to avoid the flu. “Stay away from crowded places where there are a lot of people that are sneezing and coughing, and just do general healthy measures,” he said.


Updated 8:41 PM

Two coronavirus cases confirmed in France, first in Europe

Two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France, the first in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Friday. The first case involved a patient in hospital in the southwestern city of Bordeaux while the other was in Paris, the minister told reporters.

Both had recently travelled to China and have since been placed in isolation.



1:50 PM / January 24, 2020

State Department orders non-emergency personnel to leave Wuhan

The State Department has ordered all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members to leave Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak and the home to a U.S. Consulate. The department also urged Americans to not travel to Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

Coronavirus fears close Shanghai Disney Resort

Walt Disney’sShanghai Disney Resortin China is closing until further notice in the face of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The decision to close comes during the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday, a time when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home or abroad, and when Shanghai Disney would typically be packed with families and revelers.

The resort will temporarily close starting Saturday, the theme-park operator announced on Friday, saying it was making the move to ensure the health and safety of its customers and employees.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

63 people being tested for virus in 22 U.S. states

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, of the CDC, said at a news conference in Chicago on Friday that there were now a total of 63 patients under investigation in 22 U.S. states for possible infection with the Novel Coronavirus 2019, which originated in China.

She said there had thus far been 11 negative tests and two positive, including the Chicago woman confirmed to have the disease on Friday and the man in Seattle who was confirmed as a case earlier this week.

Messonnier said there would likely be “many more” suspected cases in the coming days, but stressed the risk to the general U.S. public was still considered low.

She said the CDC was continuing its enhanced screening of passengers arriving from China at five U.S. airports and would continue to evaluate the duration of those measures.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

Chicago officials confirm 2nd case of new virus in U.S.

A second case of the deadly new coronavirus from China has been confirmed in the United States. Officials said Friday that a woman in her 60s was in stable condition and being treated in the city after returning from Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, on January 13. 

The woman, a Chicago resident, reported symptoms after her return and was placed in isolation, according to Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who joined Illinois state officials to make the announcement on Friday.

Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, said the woman was stable and “doing well” while being treated under “infection control” measures. 

Arwady said the woman was not symptomatic during her travel back from China, and noted that the concern for transmission of the disease before symptoms are exhibited is low. She said the patient had “limited movement outside her home,” and had not used public transport or been at any large public gathering.

Her close personal contacts and family members were being monitored.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

Wuhan hospitals ask public to donate protective gear

China Outbreak
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Peng Zhiyong, center, head of the department of critical care medicine, and his colleagues attend to a patient at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, January 24, 2020.

Xiong Qi/Xinhua/AP

At least eight hospitals in Wuhan have issued public calls for donations of masks, goggles, gowns and other protective medical gear, according to notices posted online. Administrators at Wuhan University People’s Hospital set up a group chat on the popular WeChat messaging app to coordinate donations.

The “Fever Control Command Center” of the city of Huanggang also put out a call for donations publicized by the state-run People’s Daily, asking for medical supplies, medicine and disinfection equipment. The notice added that at the moment they wouldn’t accept supplies from foreign countries. 

Associated Press


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

Saudis say they have a MERS case, not the new coronavirus

Saudi Arabia has denied reports of a case of the deadly new coronavirus in the kingdom, saying a male Indian nurse had tested positive for a related illness known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The Saudi Centre for Disease Control and Prevention denied reports from Indian officials Thursday suggesting the nurse, who works at a hospital in Saudi Arabia, had contracted the disease that emerged in central China in December, known as 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

A separate statement from the Saudi health ministry confirmed the Indian nurse was being treated for an infection with MERS.

“The ministry has taken all the precautionary measures to deal with this global issue and is in close coordination with all concerned entities,” the statement read, referring to the new coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia grappled for about three years with an outbreak of MERS from 2012. Like the new disease from China and the SARS virus that swept across the world years before that, MERS is a coronavirus that causes flu-like symptoms and can prove fatal.

Khaled Wassef and Tucker Reals


Updated 8:42 PM

Infected Wuhan resident says he can’t get treated

A resident in Wuhan, the quarantined metropolis at the heart of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, told CBS News Friday that he waited overnight at one of the city’s overwhelmed hospitals to get treated for the illness but couldn’t access a doctor.

The man asked not to be identified as Chinese authorities struggle to show they’re in control of the outbreak, which has now killed 26 people in China and infected more than 800. He said he was diagnosed with the virus Thursday at the Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, and that he has passed it to his mother.

He waited from Thursday night into Friday morning at the hospital for an injection he was told he needed to treat the illness, but never managed to see a doctor to have it administered.

The man said he saw patients at the rammed hospital on Thursday falling to the ground “one after another,” but there was no room for more patients to be admitted. Videos posted to social media have shown patients laying on the floor in Wuhan hospitals, some crying out for help. One, which was removed from China’s popular Twitter-like platform Weibo, purportedly showed dead bodies covered with sheets on the floor near other hospital patients.

Huge public hygiene crisis seems to have erupted in #Wuhan. This video clip was once posted on Weibo but now deleted. The lady in the clip says dead bodies were left at hospital aisles untreated whereas doctors are taking care of other patients alongside them. #WuhanPneumonia pic.twitter.com/8ARaEHDbXC

— Ezra Cheung (@ezracheungtoto) January 24, 2020

The man told CBS News he had been told to visit a different hospital, but that it was far from his home and the transport lock-down was making it impossible for him to get there.


Updated 5:05 PM / January 24, 2020

American in Wuhan worries people still getting out

Coronavirus spreads to 12 possible cases in U.S.

American Scott Allis, an English teacher in Wuhan, told CBS News on Friday that he’s never seen the city of 11 million people so quiet. The government shut his school down, along with all transport in and out of the city, but he’s worried the efforts aren’t enough.

Many businesses were shuttered, public venues were closed, and as CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio reports, stores and markets are being picked clean of essential goods as fear mounts.

The city’s hospitals, however, were packed, as worried residents flock to seek help.

Allis said he worried the efforts to lock the city down were insufficient to stop the disease spreading, and he was concerned that could bring it back to friends and family in the U.S.

“It’s locked down but it’s not locked down quite enough,” Allis told CBS News. “That’s the part I’m so concerned about, is people are still finding ways out of the city.” 


Updated 8:42 PM

U.S. testing 12 people for the new coronavirus

As of Friday morning there were 10 patients in California, one in Texas, and one in Tennessee being held in isolation, awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether they have the disease.

Health officials expect to find out over the weekend whether the patient in Texas, who had traveled to Wuhan, is infected.

Coronavirus: Threats, symptoms, and what precautions you can take

Officials said if the case is confirmed efforts would begin immediately to try and trace all the individuals who the patient came in contact with to monitor them for symptoms.

There has been only one confirmed case of the new coronavirus in the U.S. thus far, a man who travelled back to Washington state from Wuhan. All of the 26 deaths blamed on the disease have been in China.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

Expert says China locked down Wuhan too late

China’s bid to contain the deadly new coronavirus by placing cities of millions under quarantine is an unprecedented undertaking, but it is unlikely to stop the disease spreading, a public health expert has warned.

“I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention,” said Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University.

Yi, who returned to Hong Kong from Wuhan just before the lock-down, pointed out that huge numbers of people would have already left ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Friday.

They could have been incubating the virus “on their way out of Wuhan,” he said.


Updated 1:46 PM / January 24, 2020

10 cities locked down as death toll hits 26

China was in emergency mode on Friday as the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus rose to 830 and the death toll hit 26. On the eve of the country’s biggest holiday, the Lunar New Year, transportation was shut down in at least 10 cities, affecting about 33 million people in total.

Wuhan, the metropolis at the center of the outbreak and where the majority of the cases have been reported, was the first to lock down all public transport and prevent people leaving. Nine neighboring cities in the central province of Hubei had followed suit by Friday morning, restricting at least most public transport.

Chinese authorities had also canceled all major public events in the capital Beijing indefinitely, including the massive “temple fairs” that normally stand out among New Year celebrations. Beijing’s famed Forbidden City and Disneyland in the business hub of Shanghai also said they would be closed from Saturday.


Updated 8:42 PM

China building hospital for coronavirus patients

China is racing to build a hospital in only 10 days to treat coronavirus patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of the deadly outbreak, state media reported Friday. The thousand-bed hospital is expected to be ready by February 3.

Construction got underway amid reports of bed shortages in hospitals dealing with the outbreak.

Employees work at a construction site of a hospital to treat patients during a virus outbreak in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on January 24, 2020.



Updated 10:30 PM / January 23, 2020

10 cities in China’s Hubei province cut some public transportation

As the cases of coronavirus exposure increases, officials in 10 cities in China’s central Hubei province have suspended public transportation. Bus service has stopped in the cities of Chibi, Xiantao, Zhijiang, Qianjiang, Xianning, Huangshi and Enshi, according to the Reuters news agency.

Officials have also closed public venues in Zhijiang city, excluding hospitals, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, gas stations and drug stores.


8:08 PM / January 23, 2020

177 severe cases of coronavirus reported in China as death toll rises

Chinese health officials said 177 of the 830 confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection are deemed severe. China’s National Health Commission released new figures early Friday, noting the death toll also has risen to 25.

— Grace Qi contributed to this report. 


Updated 10:31 PM / January 23, 2020

25 dead and 830 cases confirmed by Chinese health officials

China’s National Health Commission has confirmed early Friday that there are 830 people infected with the coronavirus, while the death toll has risen to 25.

Health officials said the virus has affected 29 provinces in China (autonomous regions and municipalities).

A total of five cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

— Grace Qi contributed to this report.


6:17 PM / January 23, 2020

Senate to hold briefing on novel coronavirus

The Senate Health Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a briefing for all senators on the novel coronavirus Friday.

“The novel coronavirus is an emerging public health threat,” Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray said in a statement. “Senators will have the opportunity to hear directly from senior government health officials regarding what we know about the virus so far, and how our country is prepared to respond as the situation develops.”


Updated 7:11 PM / January 23, 2020

Japan confirms 2nd case of novel coronavirus

Officials from Japan’s health ministry have confirmed the country’s second case of the novel coronavirus. The patient was identified as a man in his 40s who traveled to Japan on Sunday from Wuhan, China, where he lives. The patient has been hospitalized.

— Reuters


Updated 10:30 PM / January 23, 2020

Hebei province confirms first death outside of outbreak’s epicenter

Chinese officials in the Hebei province said a patient infected with the novel coronavirus died on Wednesday, marking the first death outside of the Hubei province, which includes the city of Wuhan.

The Health Commission of Hebei province said the patient, who was 80 years old, was not confirmed to have been infected with the virus until Thursday.



Updated 12:18 AM / January 24, 2020

Texas A&M student being tested for the novel coronavirus

A student at Texas A&M University is being tested for the novel coronavirus, officials said Monday. The student traveled to what officials called an “area of concern,” and later developed mild upper respiratory symptoms. The student attended classes before going to the hospital, officials said. 

The student has since been isolated, and a sample has been sent to the CDC in Atlanta for testing. The sample will arrive at the CDC either Thursday night or Friday, and testing will take 24 hours. The university said classes will continue as scheduled. 


Updated 8:32 PM / January 23, 2020

WHO says virus is not a global health emergency

The World Health Organization said Thursday the viral illness in China is not yet a global health emergency. The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday and canceled major events in Beijing during the Lunar New Year holiday period.

The decision was announced after independent experts spent two days assessing information about the spread of the coronavirus.

WHO defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response. Previous global emergencies have been declared for the Zika virus in the Americas, the swine flu pandemic, and polio.

A global emergency declaration typically brings greater money and resources, but may also prompt foreign governments to restrict travel and trade to affected countries. Deciding whether an outbreak amounts to an international crisis therefore can also be politically fraught.

— The Associated Press


Updated 7:24 PM / January 23, 2020

CDC raises travel alert for Wuhan to level 3

CDC issues travel warning over coronavirus

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 3 travel warning for Wuhan, China – its highest level.

The federal agency is urging people to avoid all non-essential travel to the city due to the coronavirus outbreak, and advises anyone who must go there to avoid contact with sick people, animals, animal markets and animal products.

“Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel to Wuhan with their healthcare provider,” it said.

The CDC is urging people to seek medical care right away if they traveled to Wuhan in the past two weeks and have a fever, cough or trouble breathing.

“Preliminary information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease from this virus,” it said. 


Updated 11:43 AM / January 23, 2020

Forbidden City in Beijing to close

The Forbidden City in Beijing – a palace complex that attracts millions of visitors every year – announced it will close on Saturday indefinitely as part of push to halt the spread of the virus, The Associated Press reports. 

The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about 600 years old. It was long the center of power, and served as the home of Chinese emperors. 


Updated 7:24 PM / January 23, 2020

Vietnam sees 1st coronavirus cases from Wuhan

A Chinese father and son who were hospitalized on Wednesday with fevers have tested positive with the new coronavirus, Vietnam’s Health Ministry said. 

The ministry on Thursday said Li Ding, 66, from Wuhan, China, arrived in Hanoi on January 13 then traveled south to meet up with his 28-year-old son Li Zichao, who works in Vietnam. The two then went to Ho Chi Minh city.

The father got a fever on January 17 and the son got the same symptoms three days later, according to Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang, head of tropical diseases at Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh city. “The son has contracted the virus from his father,” the doctor was quoted as saying.

— The Associated Press


Updated 7:27 PM / January 23, 2020

Frustration at packed Wuhan hospitals

Residents inside Wuhan have reported long lines at the city’s hospitals, with some patients seeking advice or treatment waiting hours to be seen. Videos posted to social media showed tense scenes as staff tried to maintain order in jam-packed hospital corridors.


医院通道挤满候诊市民。 pic.twitter.com/fDOi7bCguN

— 自由亚洲电台 (@RFA_Chinese) January 22, 2020

At least one hospital in the city at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak was transferring confirmed cases if the disease to other facilities, and not admitting any more patients as of Thursday, one resident whose partner works at the facility told CBS News.

Chinese health officials are grappling to control the fast-spreading virus, which is believed to have first manifested in the human population in late December, after apparently making the jump from an infected animal at a seafood market in Wuhan.   

Frustration among the Chinese appeared to be mounting, along with fear, especially in the city of 11 million people that was put under a virtual quarantine on Wednesday, with all public transport links cut. Two nearby cities have announced similar lock-downs to take effect from Thursday evening. The combined population of the three cities is about 18 million people. 


8:29 AM / January 23, 2020

Singapore confirms 1st case “imported” from China

Singapore’s government confirmed Thursday that a case of the new coronavirus had been “imported” from China. The Ministry of Health said the 66-year-old male Chinese national had arrived on a flight from Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the outbreak, on January 20.

The Ministry said a 53-year-old female Chinese national had also tested “preliminarily positive” for the new virus. Both patients were being treated at a Singapore hospital and were in stable condition, with the male in isolation. 

Cases of the new virus have now been confirmed in China, the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.


Updated 8:32 PM / January 23, 2020

Virus less aggressive, which is “more worrying”?

The symptoms of the new coronavirus, officially named “2019-nCoV,” are very similar to the flu, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat or runny nose. Most patients experience symptoms that appear to be less aggressive than those of the related SARS virus that spread in 2002 and 2003.

Coronavirus: Threats, symptoms, and what precautions you can take

However, Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva, told AFP the fact that the virus seems milder in the majority of people is “paradoxically more worrying,” as it allows many to travel further before their symptoms are detected.

The 17 patients who died were between 48 and 89 years old. Most had underlying health issues including cirrhosis, diabetes, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease, China’s National Health Commission said.



Updated 6:45 AM / January 23, 2020

Is it a global “public health emergency”?

The World Health Organization (WHO) was holding emergency talks Thursday in Geneva to decide whether the deadly virus outbreak constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern.” The designation is rare and only used for the gravest outbreaks which are considered “serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected”.

The classification would imply that the disease, which has killed 17 people so far and infected more than 500, risks spreading further internationally and requires an international response.

The terms are set out in the International Health Regulations that were adopted following heavy criticism of the way in which the 2003 SARS outbreak was handled.

From left, World Health Organization (WHO) technical consultant Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Professor Didier Houssin, Chair of the Emergency Committee, and Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Michael Ryan at a press conference following an emergency committee meeting over the new coronavirus spreading in China and other nations, in Geneva, January 22, 2020.


The responsibility of making the determination rests on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and it gives him the power to issue recommendations that countries must act on, such as travel bans.

Once declared, the designation is reviewed every three months by the WHO’s Emergency Committee, a group of international experts.

The WHO panel was expected to hold a news conference at or sometime after 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday to announce its decision, depending on how long its meeting goes. 



Updated 5:58 AM / January 23, 2020

Hong Kong turns holiday camps into quarantine zones

Hong Kong has turned two holiday camps, including a former military barracks, into quarantine zones for people who may have come into contact with carriers of the Wuhan virus, officials announced Thursday. The international financial hub has been on high alert for the virus, which has killed 17 people since the outbreak started in central China.

The same sites were used as quarantine facilities during the deadlySevere Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak17 years ago.

Workers wearing facemasks watch a van enter the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Hong Kong, which is being used as one of two quarantine centers for people who have been in close proximity with suspected cases of the new SARS-type cornavirus, January 23, 2020.


Nearly 300 people in Hong Kong were killed by SARS, a tragedy that left a profound psychological impact on one of the most densely populated places on earth.

So far, two people in the city have tested positive for the new coronavirus — which is similar to the SARS pathogen. Both had visited Wuhan in recent days and are being treated on isolation wards in hospital.



Updated 7:19 AM / January 23, 2020

3 Chinese cities face transport restrictions

Chinese authorities have ordered a halt to some public transportation links in a total of three cities, all very near to the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan. 

In addition to Wuhan, trains out of both Huanggang and the neighboring city of Ezhou were ordered to halt operations on Thursday. Bus services were also to be cut in Huanggang.

The unprecedented clamp-down on transport comes at the worst possible time for China. Saturday is the first day of the Lunar New Year, celebrated by Chinese people around the world — a festive period that typically sees the largest mass-movement of people on the planet as Chinese flock back to their hometowns to be with relatives.


Updated 7:31 PM / January 23, 2020

Transport reportedly cut in 2nd city

The Chinese city of Huanggang, only about 20 miles east of Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, has reportedly followed the example of Wuhan and ordered a halt to all public transport links in and out. 

The Reuters news agency said state-run television in Huanggang had announced the halt to public transport and the shuttering of all public indoor venues like movie theaters and sports complexes, to take effect Thursday evening. 

CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio and his team made it out of Wuhan hours before the transportation lock-down was implemented on Wednesday – a quarantine of the city’s 11 million residents.

WATCH: (1/2) Wuhan in an *unprecedented* lockdown to slow the spread of the deadly #coronavirus. @CBSNews flew out just in time! Filmed this at the airport Wednesday night. Everyone had a mask on. Felt I was living through SARS 2003 all over again. @CBSThisMorning @CBSEveningNews pic.twitter.com/mVbtQqcnnZ

— Ramy Inocencio 英若明 (@RamyInocencio) January 22, 2020

The Associated Press quoted an official with the World Health Organization as saying the effort to “contain a city of 11 million people is new to science.”


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